Get started with a FREE process discovery analysis of your SAP system

Hello and welcome to this blog post on SAP Process Insights. In this blog we are going to talk about the current challenges businesses are facing with regards to Business Process Management and how SAP wants to tackle these challenges using SAP Process Insights.

Before jumping into SAP Process Insights I am happy to share that SAP offers a FREE analysis tool to get started with Business Process Intelligence on your S/4HANA system (for customers on SAP maintenance). It gives you an inside view into how your business processes are running today and provides recommendations for next steps in a static way.

What can you expect?

  • A process Discovery Summary in the form of a PDF document
  • Process Discovery Solution (Spotlight).

If you want to play around with Spotlight there is a demo system available for all of you.

Link: https://demo.spotlight.cloud.sap/

How can I request my FREE discovery analysis

  • Implement SAP Notes 2745851 and 2758146 in productive SAP ERP System.
  • Run data extraction report and download ZIP file
  • Initiate request via https://bpi-discovery-proxy.cfapps.eu10.hana.ondemand.com/request/BSN/
  • Fill in the form, upload extracted ZIP file and submit request
  • Confirm e-mail address via mail
  • SAP processed ZIP file, PDF summary and Process Discovery Solution (SAP Spotlight) will be provided.

Or just contact Cubis, we are happy to help you kick start with your process discovery journey.

What are business processes?

Business Processes coordinate the behavior of workforces, enterprise systems and information to support business strategies.

Businesses of today have to take care of a lot of ongoing business processes during their day to day activities. Yet, a lot of businesses still struggle with achieving process excellence and running successful transformation projects.

To sum up some of the challenges companies encounter:

  • Information silo’s within organization,
  • Adapting process to changes (GDPR, Covid-19),
  • Lack of automated process steps (manual entries of information),
  • High complexity of corporate business processes,

Probably you can think of even more challenges you encounter during day to day processes.

In 2021 the business process management market was valued at 9.2 Billion Dollars and is expected to reach around a value of 20.3 Billion Dollars by 2027. (imarcgroup,2021)
As a major market contributor we have Covid-19 which forced organizations to improve or even rethink their processes.

SAP Process Insights – What is it and what are the key benefits?

SAP Process Insights is introduced at SAP as the next generation Business Process Intelligence (BPI) layer within the SAP Portfolio. Process Insights provides S/4HANA and ECC users with continuous process monitoring, evaluation and improvement of their business processes.

SAP Process Insights connects to an organization’s SAP S/4HANA or ECC system and immediately begins identifying process pain points and optimization opportunities in the form of correction recommendations and innovation recommendations.

As I recently followed a training on SAP Process Insights I think it might be valuable to share how I experienced the tool and what I think are value-added functionalities within SAP Process Insights or pitfalls.

What is worth mentioning is that SAP Process Insights is a tool dedicated to only analyzing processes which take place on S/4HANA or ECC systems. No analysis can be conducted on 3rd party ERP tools. Also only standard S/4HANA and ECC tables can be analyzed and provide improvement recommendations.

How does it work (demo time)

Discovery and monitoring of pain points

Within the process insights tool we can analyze line of business (LOB) processes or End-to-End processes. Let’s say we want to analyze our enterprise Sales Billing document creation to FI-AR clearing end-to-end process. This brings us to following dashboard which provides us with a lot of information. Such as:

  • Sales Billing Document throughput time
  • Sales Billing Document costs
  • Blockers (pain points within the process based on throughput or costs)

Let’s zoom in on the blockers first. There are different blockers which can be identified.

First of all, we can see that some blockers (in red) mention the manual creation and releases of billing documents. This might cause incorrect information as manual entry is prone for error. Also manual entry is time consuming. Here improvements could be made. For example using assisted or unassisted RPA.

Next, also some sales billing documents were for some reason canceled. This could have multiple reasons. One should find a root cause for this.

  • Payment Issue
  • Billing Hours Revised
  • Incorrect Billing Document Entries

This might be inflicted by other pain points such as the manual entry of billing documents as this allows for a certain degree of error.

Lastly I would like to also mention it is important to also check information which is not marked in red. For example Open FI-AR items already dunned. We see that 640 items have a dunning block. Yet, no open FI-AR items are already dunned. A possible root cause could be the fact that dunning activities are performed using a 3rd party tool.

Correction and innovation recommendations

When we identified all the blockers and the impact of those blockers with regards to throughput and costs we can start brainstorming and ask ourselves the question. “What can we do in order to improve our process”. Companies these days encounter issues here to identify enhancements which are most impactful and valuable and to identify how much effort this takes. SAP process insights simplifies this exercise.

SAP process insights provides correction recommendations as well as innovation recommendations. For the sake of the demo let’s discuss the innovation recommendations.

Based on the data in your source table, SAP will recommend you with a variety of solutions. Whether it be S/4HANA improvements, intelligent technologies, …

Let’s identify some possible solutions.

For example, Document Information Extraction which is an intelligent technology Machine Learning solution. When we click on it we get directed to a new page with more information about this improvement, how it can be implemented, the implementation costs etc. This solution could take over the work of the person who is manually entering sales billing documents based on an order note. Using this technology, the processing time will decrease as well as the process cost. Also less documents will be cancelled as less mistakes are made by the robot.

Let us try to find 1 more innovation recommendation. Under situation handling we can find back collections invoice information. This solution comes in the form of a template. The tool allows accounts receivable accountants to be informed automatically of certain information related to the invoices that appear on their collections worklist in the Process Receivable app. For example

  • 3 days before an invoice is due: An in-app situation notifies the accounts receivable accountant to send an e-mail as a reminder to the customer.
  • An invoice is 20 days overdue: An in-app situation notifies the accounts receivable accountant to call the customer.
  • An invoice is 40 days overdue without any feedback from the customer: An in-app situation notifies the accounts receivable accountant that the invoice was escalated to the manager.

Using the recommendations, we can collect different improvements and weigh up the effort to implement such a solution with the value this implementation can contribute to. In this case visualized in an effort-value matrix. This allows you to focus and prioritize the most impactful business transformations in S/4HANA with regards to the effort needed and the value in thrives.

Conclusion

SAP Process Insights is an intuitive tool to monitor different processes within all sorts of industries. As the innovations and functionalities of S/4HANA are endless, business and process analysts often struggled with finding the correct improvements. SAP Process Insights bring all these improvements together in one tool and based on your process performance it recommends a subset of all these improvements to make it much more intuitive and less time consuming to discuss the improvement possibilities. A small pitfall is the fact that custom tables cannot be analyzed, yet it is understandable that SAPs recommendation engine cannot recommend improvements on custom process tables.

In following blog I will talk about SAP Signavio which offers a process mining stack of capabilities.

Bert Baeckelmans

SAP Data Analytics consultant at Cubis